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HEROS Charity is working in alliance with Abingdon & Witney College to address the current shortage of stable staff in the horseracing industry. The new college-style education entry stream into the horseracing industry delivers a complement of courses at levels 1 to 3 for young people wishing to work in the racing industry has been launched…

Operating with a strong employability theme the programmes have been developed in discussion with local trainers to ensure they meet the requirements of the industry. Learners will achieve transferable skills to maximise their chances of success with future training and employment opportunities.

The initiative is made possible with the guidance of the National Trainers Federation (NTF), Careers in Racing and the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) together with an award granted by The Racing Foundation. The partnership of Abingdon & Witney College and HEROS Charity combines the proven expertise of an established training provider with the knowledge and expertise of a thoroughbred retraining and rehoming charity to achieve their shared vision of providing the best training and education for those wishing to work in the racing industry.  The first class facilities available both at the college and at HEROS Charity, close to Lambourn in the Valley of the Racehorse, provide a fitting training environment and base for students.

To see a video of Grace Muir, CEO Of HEROS Charity, introducing the HEROS Racing Staff Academy please click here.

Commenting on the benefits of the programmes Pam Willsher, Head of Faculty Abingdon & Witney College, said: “The new college model offers a refreshing approach for students to gain industry-specific experience alongside developing generic equestrian knowledge and riding skills.  Courses will involve daily riding, yard work and theory sessions, including one-day-a-week placements with local trainers for the duration of the course.”

Shelley Perham, Recruitment and Training Co-ordinator at the NTF said: “The NTF is pleased that the course will equip new recruits with the skills that trainers require from them. In turn, we will be supporting the project by assisting our members to offer the valuable work experience that students require.”

The programmes will include nationally recognised qualifications awarded through 1st4sport and City & Guilds, covering both generic equine and racing/thoroughbred specific elements.   To support their formal training students will gain further knowledge and experience through a series of industry activities including visits to racecourses, sales, studs and yards.

Education and Training Development Manager at HEROS Charity, Eleanor Boden, has been appointed to oversee the programmes. Eleanor commented: “I am very excited to be involved in this new, recognised entry route.  It is a real opportunity for people to get involved in racing if, for whatever reason, an apprenticeship doesn’t suit their circumstances. The new programmes have riding skills and horse care at their foundation ensuring that students are well equipped with the skills and knowledge they need to work in the industry.”

To see the video of Eleanor discussing the HEROS Racing Staff Academy please click here

@HEROSCharity @AbWitCollege #HEROSeducation #RacingLife

For further information contact Dan Barrington or

HEROS Charity invite all applicants to meet with us to discuss their application for any HEROS Course.

Abingdon & Witney College is in the top 10% of colleges nationally and is officially Oxfordshire’s most successful college – graded “good” with “outstanding” leadership and management by Ofsted.

The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) has commended the college’s courses. The college is ambitious on behalf of its students, working with them to achieve excellence through a broad range of courses, celebrating the success of students at all levels across the college.

Employers are increasingly looking to colleges to help solve skills shortages, which is why courses are developed to meet the needs of local businesses and the future workplace –